Early on June 27, and in a brave response to the racist massacre occurring in the state just 10 days prior, Bree Newsome scaled a flagpole in front of South Carolina’s state legislature to remove the Confederate “Stars and Bars.”
A few hours later, though, and after the rebel flag returned to the top of the mast, out came the rednecks. About three dozen in Dixie dress wiggled and wobbled on the same grounds, celebrating that wonderful antebellum history of plantations (and slavery) and cotton (and slavery) and that old-time Southern way of life. (And slavery.)
But, demonstrators claimed, slavery had nothing to do with their cause.
“It’s our heritage. It’s who we are,” one woman told Columbia’s CBS affiliate WLTX-19.
“It’s just such a personal symbol here in the South and it means so much to so many people,” said another. “It’s just about pride and where you come from and being proud to show who you are,” (and even though neither one was proud enough to give her name).
If the intentions of the demonstration seem silly, then wait for the dessert. It wasn’t conducted in response to Newsome’s actions. This demonstration was planned days in advance, in fact. And not because the flag came down, either, because so far all the state legislature has done is vote to allow a later vote on its removal.
That demonstration was planned because, if that flag comes down, well … we’ll all be commie, homo-kissin’ Yankees! Like young Ryan Hughes told WLTX-19:
(Persons calling for removal of the flag) need a history lesson. They need to go back and look at what this flag really stands for, and that is state’s rights. That’s freedom from tyranny. That’s freedom from subjugation from the federal government. And that’s freedom from, you know, dictatorship and just absolute control.
And just forget those nine people recently killed in Charleston (and forget the 12.5 million Africans who were captured and brought to North America to live as slaves, too). According to Hughes, he and his kind got it much, much worse, he told The Post & Courier’s Cynthia Rolden.
Just people from the South, in general; we are the most oppressed group in America today. It needs to change.
(See those arguments, as well as counterarguments, in the video below.)
Hughes doesn’t stand alone in that opinion, either. He and the other rebels there on Saturday have newly declared supporters, and who today announced another demonstration at the same location in July. And just who are these Hughes-sympathizing Dixie dudes? The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, that’s who.
This KKK chapter applied for permit to conduct a rally under that same flag on the State House grounds, The State’s Andrew Shain reported today, for the afternoon of July 18. Let’s hope that’ll be a traditional, hotter-than-hell, Southern day for the hoods and sheets.
Featured image from WLTX/USA Today video